Making Business Expos A Success

Affiliate Summit East

I love trade shows and expos. They basically cram thousands potential customers into a room and put everyone into the mood to talk! So much opportunity and the frenetic pace of shows can quickly become overwhelming. It’s easy to lose sight of your show ROI. Without achieving your ROI goals, the time and expense necessary to attend the show isn’t worthwhile. If you’re like me any you like attending shows – achieve your ROI! Then you’ll be sent to as many shows as you like.

Here is my formula to make a trade show successful:

  1. Create a game plan
    1. Clearly list the total expense of the show
    2. Create a S.M.A.R.T. objective and stick to it!
    3. Layout how you are going to generate revenue necessary to pay for the show
    4. Create detailed schedule of your time at the show
    5. Create a map of the exhibit hall
    6. List all the tools you will require at the show
      1. Running out of business cards is one of the largest planning fails you can have!
    7. Commit to achieving your goal
  2. Create primary and secondary target lists
    1. As time can run away from you at a show, don’t try to do the entire floor, tackle your primary target list first and then move onto your secondary list of targets. If you have time after hitting your primary and secondary, you can always explore.
  3. Set meetings in advance (when possible)
  4. Maintain maximum flexibility
    1. Shows and meetings rarely go according to plan. Adapt when you’re on the floor not at the door 😉
  5. Build buffers into your plans
    1. Try to have at least half an hour between appointments
      1. If you are having a positive conversation, you don’t want to cut it short to race off to another meeting. Most people will schedule for an hour; with an extra half hour you can close the meeting gracefully and still get to your next meeting without being panicked.
      2. Showing up late or panicked for your next meeting is not a good way to leave a positive first impression
  6. Put your phone on vibrate
    1. It’s unlikely you’ll hear your phone so if you’re like me and use it to manage your schedule, placing it on vibrate is a more effective way to receive notifications.
  7. If you choose to drink, remember you will likely be dehydrated so your tolerance will be lower than normal
  8. Remember to drink water!
  9. Remember bring mints!
  10. Remember your goals!

Most importantly, try and have fun. It’s about building relationships and partnerships with potential business partners. Your demeanour at the show says a lot about you as a person and your company. Getting out of control at the closing party can burn a lot of your efforts during the show. Have fun, just stay in control and you’ll have a long list of potential partners you can do business with long after the show closes.